Latest injury causes Harvin's fantasy value to dip a little; could end up dropping more
Percy Harvin's hip injury sure puts a dent in what was looking like a top 10 placing in 2013 fantasy football rankings. It is feared that he has a torn hip labrum, which would likely require surgery and that could even put his status for the start of the regular season in jeopardy. We just don't have enough details right now to know for sure. What we do know for sure is that while Harvin may take a small slide in the current rankings, he could easily go back up if this proves to not be as serious as feared; or he could slide further depending on the prognosis.
Let's play Devil's Advocate for a moment and say that Harvin does miss regular season time. Who is going to benefit and step up in the Seahawks WR corps? One person who would definitely benefit is the guy whose fantasy projection was hurt most when Seattle signed Harvin: Sidney Rice.
Rice managed to start all 16 games last season despite starting the season with concerns with his recovery from surgery on both shoulders. The shoulders held up but it wasn't long into the season before various minor injuries to his knee, calf, and foot started plaguing him. Add in a rookie starting QB who averaged less than 200 passing yards per game for the entire season and it's not to wonder that Rice had only 50 catches for 748 yards and 7 TD's. Rice is supposed to be fully healthy now and while the Seahawks will remain a run oriented offense, they are expected to let QB Russell Wilson throw a bit more often. Coupled with any time Harvin may miss, Rice stands a chance of being a lot more fantasy relevant than his current average draft position of around the 52 WR off the board.
The next WR who would benefit would be Golden Tate. Tate is in the final year of his original rookie contract and was supposed to be the starter opposite of Sidney Rice before the Harvin acquisition. Tate started 15 games last season and put up a respectable 48 catches for 688 yards and 7 TD's. It was thought that heading into 2013 Tate was ready to take a jump up in production. But Harvin's presence caused him to slide into the "barely draft-able" category of deeper leagues. If Harvin misses time, Tate would have early season value and if he performs well, could make the Seahawks not rush back Harvin before he's really ready.
The final WR who stands to see an increase in value is Doug Baldwin. Baldwin is the forgotten man at WR in Seattle, but reports say he had an excellent offseason. It was only 2 years ago that Baldwin was an undrafted rookie who ended leading the team in receptions and receiving yards. Baldwin lacks big play potential, but he is rock solid as a slot WR and I have to say I was a little surprised the Seahawks didn't try to trade him earlier this year. He only caught 29 passes for 366 yards and 3 TD's last season but a move up the depth chart early in the year and he'll have a chance to prove he could be a look in ppr leagues as a free agent grab.
We won't know for sure about Harvin for another week or two. And then we'll have to wait out the prognosis reports and keep up on them. But for now, it's time to stop thinking about Harvin as a top 10 fantasy WR and start worrying about his inability to stay healthy no matter what city he plays in.